15 May 2008

Rx: supersize

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008 09:10 PM, EDT
Whatup! Therapy, doc appointment, blah blah drugs blah.

Wednesday's rehab session was dope uncut, especially relative to Monday's sad struggle for systole. Plenty of Giger with the resistance cranked a fair bit higher than before. To illustrate, consider that the Giger functions quite similarly to a bike, and we keep track of work according to the total number of cycles performed in a session. Each session has been 45-60min. Over that period, I only managed half as many cycles on Wednesday as either of my two previous sessions. In other words, I had enough of an increase in resistance to accomplish half as much measured work, still sustained over a cardio-worthy time period. Weee! Further, I'm not sure what effect it has on the workload that both arms and legs are attached. On one hand, since I don't have any voluntary leg muscle contraction, so my arms have to do all the work. That sounds like a tilt towards mass-building exercise for my shoulders. On the other hand, how would it be different if arms and legs were all functional? Hmm.

After the Giger was the Total Gym, as advertised by Mr. Norris. It's a grizzly bear-sized apparatus where you can lay on a sliding rest part and push against another side part with your feet or whatever. Don't mistake me for someone who can describe stuff accurately. I used it for assisted inclined squats: lay on slide part, angle whole machine so I'm inclined about 30 degrees head-up from supine, have therapists help me go through knee bend/straighten motions. This exercise doubles as a controlled weight-bearing procedure; more on that some other time. To make it even better, we attached electrical stimulation to my quadriceps muscles so that I could perform some of the leg straightening actively. Even even better better, we talked about running track and how incredibly bad I was... Between squat sets I did quasi bench press with my arms, which were pretty much blobs of goo after so much Gigering.

Then was a good load of FES (RTI, e-stim) biking and watching of the somewhat-new Transformers movie. I'm glad the toys were not as complicated as their onscreen CG counterparts...

Thursday = first appointment with the doctor here. The only part worth mentioning is that I now have midodrine at my disposal to combat hypotension. Midodrine, often sold as ProAmatine I think, increases blood pressure via peripheral vasopression - that is, it shrinks blood vessels, reducing circulatory volume and therefore [physics equations] increasing circulatory pressure. The hope is that I can take some before therapy and be able to do sitting balance and other upright work without almost passing out every two minutes. Sounds good to me!

Pointless commentary coming! Taking meds to increase blood pressure seems all wrong. Millions of people around the world work so hard (or don't) to fight precisely the opposite issue; I feel like I have been prescribed McDonald's three times a day, for my health? But it is obvious that I need it to do, well, just about anything, and I've tried just about everything else... So strange! More tangibly, I'm slightly concerned with autonomic dysreflexia issues and the likelihood of oxycodone and midodrine simply cancelling each other out. But again, these are matters for their own posts. We shall see how it goes.

Also, chalk up yet another doubter to prove wrong. Bring it.

C'est tout, je pense!

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